Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dangerous to Know-Tasha Alexander

Dangerous to Know
Tasha Alexander
Minotaur, Nov 1 2010, $24.99
ISBN 9780312383794

In 1892, Lady Emily Hargreaves heals at her husband Colin’s family estate near Rouen in Normandy from her harrowing time trapped in a cavernous cistern underneath Constantinople (see Tears of Pearl). Her emotional recovery is somewhat thwarted by her formidable mother-in-law Anne, who lucidly yet tacitly insures Emily knows she disapproves of her honeymoon behavior and what soon happens at the estate.

Emily is riding a horse when she finds a mutilated female body. The police are called and Inspector Gaudet leads the inquiry though Emily believes he is incompetent. She later learns the butchered victim is an escaped inmate from a nearby insane asylum and that the knife wounds suggest Jack the Ripper left London for France. Unable to ignore what she saw, Emily investigates but fears for her mind as she keeps hearing a child’s voice but none seem nearby,

Dangerous to Know is a pleasant late Victorian Era whodunit though readers will doubt the company of the inspector and the amateur sleuth. The relationship between Emily and Anne enhances the story line as does the French countryside and the trek into Rouen. Although the detecting never comes across as strong as Emily’s’ efforts before she married (see A Poisoned Season and Only to deceives), fans will enjoy this entertaining historical.

Harriet Klausner

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